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Lesli Ahonkhai

Florida Department of Health in Orange County

Lesli Ahonkhai
Lesli P. Ahonkhai
Assistant Health Officer
Lesli Ahonkhai is the Deputy Health Officer and Assistant County Health Department Director responsible for the overall operations of the health department. She has served in the Health and Human Services profession for more than 28 years.  Mrs. Ahonkhai’s prior experience includes but is not limited to: Acting Administrator for DOH-Orange, Division Director for Health Protection, Clinic Administrator, and Contract Administrator.  Lesli graduated from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Studies with disciplines in Health, Biology and Fine Arts.  In 1993, she was the first African American to obtain a Master of Arts degree in Applied Sociology from UCF.  Lesli graduated from the University of South Florida Public Health Leadership Institute Class 9 of which she was Valedictorian.  Mrs. Ahonkhai is also a graduate of Leadership Orlando Class 79.

Lesli was recently nominated for the University of South Florida Public Health Woman of the Year Award (2015).  Her leadership with the department has led to improved health center infrastructure, operational efficiencies and access to care. She has also been recognized for her leadership in community-driven programs and interventions aimed at reducing health disparities and achieving health equity.  Over the years, Lesli has contributed to the public health field by mentoring emerging public health leaders through local and national mentoring programs and leading national practice collaboratives aimed at improving maternal and child health. 

Lesli considers herself a person of deep faith and conviction but not perfection.  She feels blessed to have been married for over 22 years and from that union given the heritage of three fine young men.  While balancing home and public service, Lesli has found time to participate in the following areas: the Florida Public Health Association [current Health Equity Interest Group Chair and past president (2013-14)], YMCA of Central Florida Healthy Living Committee (Current), Operation Reachback of Central Florida  (Current Board Member), Holden Heights Community Advisory Corporation-Public Safety Committee (Current), Bithlo Transformation Advisory Group (Current), City MatCH City Leader Mentoring Program (2013-14), March of Dimes Local and State Program Services Committee (past member), and Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociological Honor Society.